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The last time I asked for a book in Book on optics in curved space-time , the question was closed as being 'primarily opinion-based'. David Z explained clearly why it was not appropriate and suggested I reword it. He said a change in the book policy might cause a shift in the present policy. I see many questions here being closed for similar reasons. But each question carries a unique story and a context. Every book recommendation given still constitutes a definite answer to the question. In spite of the question being closed, I still see people responding in the comments.

While I can appreciate where the moderators are coming from, I have found that other SE websites like the Math SE are more welcoming of such questions. The book list is not really sufficient. While I imagine most people can get what they want in this list, it is insufficient for more specific questions.

I enjoy collecting valuable (both pedagogically and historically) works in science and mathematics (even more than reading them :D). So sometimes my requirements might be specific. So I have to ask, if the requirements are not easily met by the book list, is there anything I can gain from Physics.SE (without compromising the specificity of my requirements)?

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  • $\begingroup$ Aside from the proposed policy linked to in DavidZ's answer; interested active users can volunteer here to help curate it. Be sure you understand what you're signing up for. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Oct 4 '13 at 8:28
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    $\begingroup$ As always, I am wholesale against them. Die. Die! Die!! $\endgroup$ – dmckee Oct 4 '13 at 15:39
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If we allowed every little variation on a book recommendation, those questions could easily overwhelm the site. We don't want that to happen, because this is a site for technical content, not for reading lists.

Also, even though every book recommendation question carries its own context and you might think that'd be enough to differentiate them, there are large classes of these questions that wind up with the same set of answers. For example, a question that asks about black holes will collect the same answers (or a subset of the answers) as a question that asks about general relativity, and that's why the former is typically closed as a duplicate of the latter.

That being said, we are approaching a consensus on a new policy which will allow a vastly expanded set of book recommendation questions.

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